STANFORD, Calif. — — Wesley Gordon got back into the starting lineup on Wednesday.
It was a play he made to help finish the game that really stood out for the Colorado men's basketball team, though.
Gordon's block of a Josh Huestis shot with just over three minutes to play helped CU to a 59-56 win against the host Stanford Cardinal.
"Wesley's block was huge," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "That's what Wesley Gordon brings to this team and that's why he's so important to us out there is the defense and the blocked shots."
Trailing 51-50 when Gordon blocked the shot, the ball went right to guard Askia Booker, who took it the length of the court for a layup. That gave CU the lead for good, at 52-51.
"I saw it coming, so I was hoping I could get up there with my ankle," Gordon said. "Yeah, it did (feel great). It felt like I could jump a little bit."
Gordon started for the first time since Feb. 5 against Washington State. Four days later, he slipped on some ice and twisted his ankle. He missed two games and then played in a limited role during the next four.
Going up against the bigger Cardinal, though, Gordon was needed from the start. He finished with just two points, but also had five rebounds and a steal.
"I'm about 85 (percent)," he said. "The ankle still bothers me a little bit, but I'm getting there."
This week in practice, the Buffs put a major emphasis on staying tough through adversity. That has been a struggle for this team recently, including in a 75-64 loss at Utah last Saturday.
On Wednesday, the Buffs were tough.
"This week, people were on each other," sophomore Josh Scott said. "If you were not boxing out or we weren't getting stops, people were yelling at each other. We said 'no sensitivity' with practice this week and I think that paid off."
Boyle said that was a key factor in CU beating the Cardinal.
"We knew Stanford is a physical team and we wanted to match their physicality, because if you don't you're in trouble," he said.
Twice in the first half, the Buffs sent Ben Mills into the game to play alongside Scott. It's the first time Boyle has used the two together, as Mills usually is used to give Scott a break.
"We had foul trouble in that first half," Boyle said. "Wes had two and Dustin (Thomas) had two. We were trying to survive the half."
Playing with Mills meant Scott had to shift to power forward for a few minutes.
"I like playing with Ben and I like playing the four," Scott said. "It's a different feel and a different position. It was good."
CU has reached the 21-win mark for the sixth time in school history, and the fourth year in a row. ... CU matched the 1996-97 team for the most regular season wins in school history. ... CU avoided its first three-game losing streak of the year. ... Booker went 0-for-3 from 3-point range and has played four consecutive games without making a 3 (going 0-for-9). ... Scott missed his first free throw attempt of the night, snapping a streak of 20 consecutive makes. He went 9-for-11 from the line on the night, though.